This is an article created in order to help a reader with a question that came up while reading my book; “The Occult Experience”. The Question is in blue and my answer follows.
Regarding the belief exercise in your book, why the long break after only a week of the exercise?
Also, While I’m doing the above exercise, am I saying to myself that I believe with all my heart? This one is kind of confusing to me. When I look back at all the things I believe, the beliefs were established over time–sometimes many years. I don’t know how to sit and believe something with all my heart. I guess you could say the process of belief in my life was a slow, passive process. If you’d be so kind to help me understand I’d really appreciate it.
You are correct, beliefs generally are created over a long period of time. In the first three chapters of the book, this is the kind of belief creation that I am talking about. Generally speaking such beliefs take a long time and a lot of repetition. This type of belief creation relies on authority figures (your mom and dad, your teachers, the intelligentsia, society at large) repeating things over and over until your awareness matches what they believe and what they are also experiencing themselves. Repetition and time create new neuronal pathways within your brain that you then learn to accept and call reality. This process can take decades, your entire life perhaps.
But there’s also another way that beliefs are created. This method involves a highly powerful emotional experience. While most beliefs are created through the long repetitive method, this second method can completely alter a person’s belief structure in a very short period of time. An example of this would be a highly traumatic event in a person’s life where after experiencing a grave situation, one that creates a huge emotional moment, they no longer see the world in the same way anymore. What has happened here is that this dramatic event has stamped a whole new neuronal pattern in their brains, one that alters what they believe and therefore what they experience through their senses. It doesn’t have to be a negative emotion of course, it can also be a very intensely happy one.
The exercises that I mentioned in the book rely on breaking neuronal patterns first and foremost and then using the deep belief exercises that you mention to create whole new neural pathways that should allow you to begin to perceive things in a completely different manner over time. You see those old schools that I talk about in the book, realized that they did not have decades to re- train a person’s psyche. Certainly the younger that you could start training the better, but generally speaking they needed a faster way to create new belief structures and therefore needed to use the latter method. This latter method took on all sorts of ‘Weird’ and ritualistic aspects depending on what school you are talking about but the fundamental methods, the technique without the glam, is the exercise that I provide in the chapter called “The Power of Beliefs”.
When doing this exercise, it is perhaps better that you begin approaching it as a game. Think about when you were a child, if you remember back I’m certain that you will remember a time when you would pretend something. Children find it incredibly easy to pretend to do or be the most incredible things; they could pretend that they are zombies, that they are astronauts, that they are in the middle of an ocean while sitting on top of their bed in their cozy bedroom. While they play these games, they are masters in the art of pretending.
Essentially believing something in the way that I mentioned in the book, involves pretending. Instead of believing with all your heart, which can sound a little cryptic or perhaps intense, try instead to just pretend for that allotted time. As you play this game, you will find that your mind will wander, and as a result you will need to make an effort to refocus, and this effort will cause a tension. This tension will move energy through your system and this energy movement is essentially the same thing as a mild emotion.
When you get comfortable treating this exercise as a game of pretend, you will also be able to read certain physiological changes within yourself and perhaps certain psychological intensities that you will have to endure in order to pretend for the time that you have allotted for your game. With these discoveries you will be able to understand what I mean by believing with your whole heart, or perhaps a better way of saying it would be to believe something with every fiber of your being.
Let me know if this helps in understanding how this exercise should go.
As far as taking a break, this is essential because your brain needs a break. When these exercises are done properly, what you are essentially doing is rewiring your brain. In order for this to happen you need to give your brain a rest, just like when you exercise you can’t exercise every day or else you will end up damaging your body and losing muscle tone as opposed to gaining it. The brain needs time to adjust to these new imprints that you are getting. During this break time, do keep an eye on yourself as it were; study yourself and see if you have certain changes emotionally or if you have certain desires that you did not have before. Follow your impulses if they tell you to go somewhere or do something. There will be a great desire to ignore certain impulses because your original beliefs will be telling you, perhaps screaming at you, that what you are doing is silly. Ignore those desires but keep an eye out for others that are more in line with what you wish to accomplish, and then follow those.
With a slow and repetitive way of creating new beliefs, it could take decades to change your belief structures. With the latter method it could take months or less but you need to follow the rules as I set them down in the book. You need to do these exercises only within certain time frames, and then forgetting about these exercises afterwards. You also need to give your brain a break every once in a while so that these new emotional stamps as it were can begin to take hold within your psyche.
But if you do feel like you need to push yourself a little, then do so. Trust your intuitions on this as this is fundamentally a personal matter. What I write down in the book are the basic guidelines, it is up to you to study your own personal psyche and to follow your own intuitions.
I do hope that this helps you. Please comment at the bottom of this article if you need any more help and I will be very happy to offer whatever help that I can.